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Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Contributing Expert | 0 comments

Looking for a Great Way to Build Your List?

Looking for a Great Way to Build Your List?

How would you like to be able to add to your business database and create a win-win-win situation at the same time?

How would you like to be able to do that at no cost to yourself, while giving added value to the people already on your list?

And how would you like to strengthen your relationships with potential joint venture and referral partners at the very same time?

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Contributing Expert, Leadership, Mindset | 0 comments

Are You the Kind of Speaker You Want to Be?

Are You the Kind of Speaker You Want to Be?

When we talk about the fear of public speaking, the first thing that comes to mind is getting up on a stage and giving a formal speech of some kind.

However, there are many other times in the course of business and in our everyday lives that we have to speak in public.

I invite you to take the following assessment, so that you can have a better idea of your actual public speaking comfort level.

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Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Branding, Marketing & Social Media, Uncategorized | 0 comments

4 Easy Magic Words for a Headline that Gets Your Reader’s Attention

4 Easy Magic Words for a Headline that Gets Your Reader’s Attention

After too many years of school, I finally, painfully learned how to write reports and research papers.

It is the process of regurgitating information.

In truth, you’ve all been tricked, because this kind of writing is only for academia and is so terribly useless in marketing!

After umpteen hours of writing this way, this has likely become your default.  When you don’t know what else to do, you write “about” your subject.  Boring!!

Marketing writing or sometimes known as copy writing, has nothing to do with spewing out information unless it is used strategically to give credence and back up your statements.

Every one of my clients struggles with this.  To be totally transparent,  I can spend hours trying to write a one line title for a tele-class or  a topic title for a speech.  If I ‘m tired or confused,  I immediately go back to information writing and it is BORING!

A good title or topic needs to inspire, connect to the readers emotions, and show the main benefit or outcome they will get.

It means you have to take your academic mind and lock it in a vault.

Here is an example.  Which one do you like better?

1. Learn How to Develop a Marketing Plan and Grow Your Business

2. Discover How to Stand Out from the Pack and Attract the Exact Right Clients

Number one is not incorrect it’s just blah, has no emotional tug, and the outcome is very general.

In truth, people don’t want to learn anything.  Learning sounds like school.  Marketing plan also sounds arduous.  If I even mention that term to my clients, they moan. People don’t want a marketing plan. What they do want is more of the right clients calling them, which is the final outcome.

Here are a four magic words I learned many years ago, that when used in your copy, will connect with your potential clients. They remove barriers between you and them!

Discover – My favorite word and so much better than learn! It gives an instant eureka feeling.

Easy or Simple –  In today’s world of overload this is a refreshing concept.

You-  Using this one three letter word will make people feel like you are speaking directly to them.

Proven – Great word because it shows you have backed up your claims and you know your stuff!

My invitation to you:

Find a headline  or title you are working on and rewrite it using some of these words and concepts.  Share your before and after below in the comments.  We can all discover from each other this way!

 

 

Kaya is a specialist at guiding wise women entrepreneurs to translate their gifts into their business so they can be empowered leaders and make a much bigger difference!  She is the author of “Clear Your Focus Grow Your Business,” as well as over 20 other programs and ebooks aimed to inspire, guide and support entrepreneurs to fulfill their own missions.

Through her own wisdom from life and professional experience of over 30 years, she has helped thousands of people internationally and online as a business mentor, consultant, counselor, facilitator and author. She’s owned five small businesses as well as her present venture, AwakeningBusiness.com. Kaya says, “If I can grow a successful business, you can too. You just need the system to follow and the commitment to make it happen.”

Come visit my site and download your free gift “5 Steps to Walking Your Wise Woman into the World of Money!”

 

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Mindset | 0 comments

Where in Your Life are You Hiding Out and Playing Small?

Leap

Why is it that we often find ourselves playing small or hiding from our brilliance?  What’s going on that keeps us from taking that LEAP or asking for what we really and truly want in our lives?

I believe, it’s those darn limiting beliefs that hold us back…those voices in our heads that tell us to play safe, don’t rock the boat, it’s okay like it is…just ignore it.

But what happens when we do this?  What happens when we continue to push down those dreams, our fabulous and unique gifts?  We become sick, depressed, we lose our mojo, we self medicate, and the biggest tragedy is that the world misses out on everything that we have inside that just screaming to shine through.

All of us have these limiting beliefs and the funny thing is that most of them aren’t even true!  That’s right!  They are simply beliefs that we made up to keep us safe when we were little children.   Then those beliefs become “Our Story” and we simply keep living the story over every day just like in the movie “Ground Hog Day”.

It’s true, according to science, we spend 95% of our time operating on auto pilot or from our subconscious. — from those experiences formed when we were very young.  This means we are only operating from a fully conscious level 5% of our time!

So how do you shift?  How do you breakthrough, because those stories seem very real, don’t they?

  • It could be from an eye opening experience that forces us out of our comfort zone.  We LEAP – we learn – we grow.  This happens.
  • Another way, could be through the guidance of a caring mentor, we are able to release a limiting belief so that fear simply slips away. I have helped hundreds of women do this and it’s been so profound!
  • And then, it might just be that the timing is right, and we are ready.

Last week, the planets all aligned not only for me but many others at Ruth Klein’s Expert Celebrity Branding workshop.  It’s so exciting to experience transformation when you have support and time to let it percolate.  In addition something magical happens when you are able to speak your truth in front of others and get positive feedback.

Just stating your truth and making a decision, a magical process begins — “the Universe Chimes in” as Ruth says.  I call it Dancing with the Universe.  It’s a beautiful thing.

My breakthrough came as a rebirth of my beautiful, brilliant brand Midlife Millionaire.  Now that I have been able to merge my Smart Women programs into my nonprofit, I can offer my programs to all the women of the world for free, it has created this lovely space for me to lead my Midlife Millionaire Mastermind Retreats for a very specific niche.  This is mine:

For women who want to travel and connect with other like minded successful women in an exclusive, life changing, unique experience, far away from home in Costa Rica and Panama.  How does this resonate with you?

At Ruth’s event, I was invited to be on a “Best Practices Panel”, and I had no idea that this is what would come of this experience.

In my case, all three things above aligned for me:

  • I was put on the spot and taken through a very sacred and brilliant process that allowed me to LEAP.
  • I had a gifted mentor – Ruth Klein – facilitating this process at the workshop.
  • and then the timing was perfect.

Let me tell you, I almost didn’t go to this workshop.  I was in total resistance.  Even after stating I was going on Ruth’s Telesummit, I cancelled and made up an excuse that I was too busy.

But I received calls and emails that I had to attend…that others were counting on me.  (this is that support that is so important!).   Thank God I showed up too.

RESULTS TAKING THE LEAP AND NOT HIDING:

  • A literary agent who was on another expert panel was also in the audience when I spoke, and she has asked to see my book proposal.  She loves my Midlife Millionaire! She says she can get me a book deal.
  • A producer who was on another expert panel and also in the audience when I told my story, came up to me after the event and wants to meet with me to discuss something so mind blowing that I cannot even share it with you at this time…but I will if it manifests!
  • I had so many people come up to me after I shared my “Beautiful Brand” — this is the same brand that I was trying to keep as the “Best Kept Secret” and they all said they wanted to know more — to come on my retreats — to connect!

So ask yourself:  where in your life are you hiding, playing small, not shining your light, afraid what you have, or know, or do is not good enough — trying to keep it as “the best keep secret”? 

I challenge you to post your comments right below this blog to post it below or to contact me personally, because I will challenge and support you.  You can reach me right here:  www.talkwithkatana.com

It’s time to shine your light, to take your stand, to live your joyful, authentic and abundant life.  What are you waiting for?

head shot

 

Certified Financial Planner®, Katana Abbott, is a Life Purpose and Legacy Wealth Coach and founder of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love.  To get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life!

Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Branding | 0 comments

What do Dogs and Women Entrepreneurs Have in Common?

What do Dogs and Women Entrepreneurs Have in Common?

Tired golden retriever taking a much deserved nap.You know that saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?   Dogs get pretty set in their ways as they get older and so do many people, but the exception is women who have a strong mission!

I’m often shocked at how many women contact me who are in their late 30s or early 40s and feel like they are running out of time!

They think they should  have it all together by then, be living their mission, and creating their legacy.

Regardless of your age, you might have felt this exact way; that you are getting older and still haven’t done what you are meant to do, haven’t created a business that will give you that freedom, creativity, and avenue for sharing your wisdom gifts.

Here is the secret!  It’s my gift to you!

I felt this same way at age 35, again when I turned 40, 50, 55 and so on.  Now that I am over age 60 I finally get it!!  The whole thing has been a process of transformation, unfolding my life purpose, and helping me to gain the confidence needed to really step into that place of my mission. Now I can look back and see how it all fit together.

I already was developing that legacy when I was at each of those life stages, and if I hadn’t done those pieces at those times, I wouldn’t be where I am now with my wise woman wisdom alive and activated,  so I can help others.

One of my gifts now is I can see much more than I could then. In that way I am more of a see-er!

So, if you feel your business is part of your mission and you could stand up and rant about how important it is to be successful, you are on the right track.

When you feel that strongly and you feel the fire run through your veins, your heart knows this is what you need to do- then you will learn any new trick that is offered to you if it will help you to get there.

Even at age 60+ I have had to learn new habits, new ways of thinking. I have needed to see myself in a different way.

Are you willing to learn new tricks that will help you shift in the ways you need to  in order to step into your true calling?

In this way, you have very little in common with an old dog who is happy to do nothing except have a nice walk daily.

You, on the other hand, have the strong inner drive to change your ways, learn new habits, and try something new every day!

Can you imagine your business bringing you enough money to be able to retire with financial prosperity?

Do you see yourself touching thousands of people with your service and having a team where you support each other’s brilliance?

If you answered yes, you’re like me and willing to do whatever it takes to learn the new tricks.

The alternative is being an old dog and leaving it to the young pups to have all the fun.

What new tricks do you need to learn?
How could you stand  even more fully in your brilliance?

 

 

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Kaya is a specialist at guiding wise women entrepreneurs to translate their gifts into their business so they can be empowered leaders and make a much bigger difference!  She is the author of “Clear Your Focus Grow Your Business,” as well as over 20 other programs and ebooks aimed to inspire, guide and support entrepreneurs to fulfill their own missions.

Through her own wisdom from life and professional experience of over 30 years, she has helped thousands of people internationally and online as a business mentor, consultant, counselor, facilitator and author. She’s owned five small businesses as well as her present venture, AwakeningBusiness.com. Kaya says, “If I can grow a successful business, you can too. You just need the system to follow and the commitment to make it happen.”

Come visit my site and download your free gift “5 Steps to Walking Your Wise Woman into the World of Money!”

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Marketing & Social Media | 0 comments

How to Make Wise Marketing Choices

How to Make Wise Marketing Choices

Illustration of ripe Apple and a small treeFiguring out how to decide on marketing choices can feel like being a kid in a toy store.

Every shiny new things gets your attention and you want it now!

However there are right choices for each age group.

A five year old might look at very sophisticated games, and their parent says, “you’re not old enough yet”. Likewise, a ten year old will be bored with baby toys.

So, its about being discerning and choosing the toy that fits who you are.

Marketing is similar to facing a toy shop full of alluring choices.

This week two of my clients said they wanted to host a tele-summit. Tele-summits can be a wonderful events but the problem is that both of these people have brand new businesses and are barely bringing in any cash yet. Instead they need to be focusing on cash-flow generation and building good connections.

It can be hard to slow down and focus on the marketing tactic that fits the stage you are in.

I just returned from a Lead Generation workshop with my mentor, Andrea J. Lee, and this principle was emphasized and reinforced!

The important thing is to acknowledge where you are and then put on blinders when you walk through the toy store.  Only certain things are right for you at the stage you are in!

If your business is brand new, it’s like planting a tiny fruit tree. The first thing is to grow a strong root system, which means watering and more watering until the roots grow strong. If you try to focus on growing large branches the tree wouldn’t be strong enough to hold them and it would likely collapse.

So it’s about building connections but in a very focused way while you are growing and bringing in cash flow.

Once your roots are strong and  you are ready to grow more  branches, it might be time to get out of your comfort zone and do a teleclass, speak at a networking group, develop your flagship program.

When you become a larger tree with strong branches you can think about a tele-summit which will help you grow your team, connect with joint venture partners, and build your expertise.  Doing a tele-summit could also cost you a couple thousand dollars to put on, assuming you hire an assistant to help you.  This is why it lives in the larger, stronger tree category.

What does your tree look like? Is it still a stick that needs lots of water or is it now solid and growing branches?

Once you know that, it’s much easier to walk through the marketing toy store and look for exactly what  fits your stage of growth!

Learn how to Market the Wise Woman Way. Come to my free tele-class on October 17th.

 

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Kaya is a specialist at guiding wise women entrepreneurs to translate their gifts into their business so they can be empowered leaders and make a much bigger difference!  She is the author of “Clear Your Focus Grow Your Business,” as well as over 20 other programs and ebooks aimed to inspire, guide and support entrepreneurs to fulfill their own missions.

Through her own wisdom from life and professional experience of over 30 years, she has helped thousands of people internationally and online as a business mentor, consultant, counselor, facilitator and author. She’s owned five small businesses as well as her present venture, AwakeningBusiness.com. Kaya says, “If I can grow a successful business, you can too. You just need the system to follow and the commitment to make it happen.”

Come visit my site and download your free gift “5 Steps to Walking Your Wise Woman into the World of Money!”

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Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Marketing & Social Media | 0 comments

Five Quick Tips for Way Better Video

Five Quick Tips for Way Better Video

With the proliferation of video sites and social media sites like Facebook, more and more of us are making web videos – and that’s a good thing. However, an amateur or poorly produced video will not put you or your business in the best light.

Fortunately, there are a few little things you can do that will make a BIG difference!If you follow this simple advice, your videos – and your business – will look much more professional online.

1.  Watch your background!

Now, I realize you may not be able to use all the special effects that I do on my “LouTube” Videos(http://tinyurl.com/6lslh7) but you’ve still got to consider your environment!

Where is your camera?

What’s behind you in the background?

Nobody wants to see your dirty laundry or your velvet Elvis painting in the background!Just use a plain or professional-looking background.  As another alternative, do what my friend Travis Greenlee does, and shoot your video outdoors. Most of Travis’ videos come from outside his home in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado!

2.  Light it up!

Very simple: You’ve got to have more light in front of you than behind you.Otherwise, you’ll look dark and shadowy – which is fine if you’re doing a horror video, but not for your average video blog! Too much light coming from behind you will trash your video.Even regular household lighting or a lamp placed in front of you should be adequate.

 

3.  Are YOU ready for your close-up?

Before you hit record, how do YOU look?Just because you can work at home in your pajamas doesn’t mean we want to see them! Nancy Marmalejo at VivaVisibility.com does a beautiful job with her backgrounds and her overall presentation.She looks like a pro, because she is a pro.

4.  Keep it simple!

More often than not, a webcam is more than adequate to shoot your video. I just use the iSight that’s built into my Mac. However, you could also invest in a neat, little $150 dollar Flip Cam. If you really want to take it up a notch, get a Sanyo Xacti camera 

5.  Be interesting!

Try to offer some interesting or unique content! To keep your viewer’s attention, you have to deliver some value.Keep your videos short and compelling… Remember, we’ve all got IDD – Internet Deficit Disorder!

That’s really all there is to it!Follow these five simple steps, and your online videos will be a lot more “watchable!”And remember, search engines love video, so keep on making better videos!

For more free tips and tricks, please feel free to visit my website anytime at www.TheOnlineVideoGuy.com.

Lou Bortone is an author and entrepreneur with extensive experience in marketing, branding and promotion.Before starting his own company, Lou was an award-winning marketing executive in the media industry.Lou served as National Promotion Manager for E! Entertainment Television, and later as Senior VP of Marketing and Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox, in Los Angeles.  Today, Lou helps entrepreneurs and solo professionals navigate their online businesses with services such as copywriting, video production and creative services.Sign up for Lou’s free mini audio course about using Online Video at http://www.TheOnlineVideoGuy.com.

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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Contributing Expert | 0 comments

Updating Your Personal & Business Brand… With Your Existing Products, Books, Services, and Ideas…

Updating Your Personal & Business Brand… With Your Existing Products, Books, Services, and Ideas…

business leadershipAre you feeling overwhelmed with all the work you have to do; all the products or services you want to start; finally use or reuse the previous products and services and maybe even re-launch them? Plus, are you wondering how you will find the time to do all of this work so that you can start monetizing your existing material, products (new or old), services, etc.?

Most small businesses, authors and professionals I work with have answered a resounding “yes” to these feelings of overwhelm and frustration…and they find themselves procrastinating and not getting much of anything done. Our reality is our perception, which is made up of our thoughts and experiences.  If your thinking and hence, your perception, is one of being overwhelmed with all your past and present products, writing, books, seminars, services, then you are overwhelmed.

The response to feeling overwhelmed is often procrastination, anxiety and stress. There is another option and that is changing your reality in this moment. 

 Rather than the perception of overwhelm, you can change your thoughts right in this moment to…I have a “treasure of stuff” that I have created and now I have the opportunity to reuse, modify or re-launch them and update my Personal and Business Brand in the process.

So, how does this all tie into your Personal and Business Brand? Here are six ways that you can take your overwhelm feelings, many “old” and “new” products, services, ideas and books…update them and then re-launch them with a focus to an updated Personal and Business Brand.  I hope you like my new Brand look in this issue.

  1. First, give yourself permission to spend one to two hours a day for the next two weeks to “find” all your past seminars, webinars, videos, speeches, different types of writing, blog posts, MP3’s, testimonials, pictures, special discounts and promotions that worked well in the past.
    Tip: I assure you that the time you spend “gathering” will shorten the “hunt” later.
  2. Organize all this information into what you believe would be worthwhile to use now. You will be amazed at all the great “stuff” or as I prefer to say, “treasures” you will find.  Congratulations for doing this, because now you will save so much time and stress moving forward in sorting, discarding and re-launching your ideas, products, books and services.
    Tip: This is the perfect time to gather all of your old as well as new material. Why reinvent the wheel? Chances are good that your “older” works, material and writings have gems in them and can easily be used and updated with what you’re doing now.
  3. Now, it’s time to make a list of everything you have found and put the “treasures” into categories, and then create neat piles. Do this for all the good stuff you’ve found. Create complimentary stacks, if necessary.
    Tip: Place these stacks of treasures in large plastic containers and list the contents on a sheet of paper that you keep on top of each of the stacks…makes for easy reference and saves a ton of time moving forward.
  4. Okay, now that you’ve taken the time to pull everything, identified what everything is; put them into stacks of similar content; made a list of everything…now, it’s time to identify the top two (yes, only two) areas that you are passionate about and want to focus on in your business. Those are the two (yes, only two..) areas that you will now focus on and this becomes your new updated Brand. Chose the “treasures” from the stacks that feed back into your top focus areas.
    Tip: Choose those two areas that you most enjoy doing and look for ROI (Return on investment in terms of time, money and energy).
  5. Commit to spending four focused hours a day on the two primary areas you’ve chosen and watch how your Personal and Business Brand starts to come alive for you…as well as your new clients. It has to work as it is a Universal Law…that which you focus on most will be that which shows up most in your life!
    Tip: “Focused time” in this case is referred to as Marketing. The life blood and engine of your business is the marketing that you do…four focused hours a day is worth more than ten hours of work with interruptions…including interruptions such as email and reading newsletters! Go ahead and read emails but NOT during your focused time.
  6. Enjoy your new treasures and the wealth of new opportunities and options available to you…which all equates to attracting your ideal clients with your updated products, services and brand.
    Tip: The Universe needs what you have to offer. It’s not about you; it’s about your contribution that is the issue here.

About Ruth

Ruth Klein is a nationally renowned writer, speaker, strategic marketing consultant and productivity coach, is owner of the award-winning boutique firm, The Marketing/Time Source, and author of five books, including the best-selling Time Management Secrets for Working Women…getting the most out of each day.

She is the author of the business marketing monthly, “The Ruth Klein Report,” and the lifestyle trademarked “De-Stress Diva” series of columns, books, radio shows and motivational seminars. Her words and work have been featured in national magazines, and she is quoted widely by major newspapers, television and radio. Her newest newsletter and companion blog is “Take 5 With Ruth Klein.”

ruthklein.com

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2009 in Branding, Business & Marketing | 0 comments

Successful Marketing for Introverts

Successful Marketing for Introverts

 In my experience I have seen many levels of introvert and   extrovert. Let me share some of my own.

• Invite me to a party — I’d rather have a root canal
• Have me speak about something I’m passionate about in front of
a group of people — I shine.
• Put me in a “casual” networking group — root canal please.
• Put me in a “structured” networking group where I can ask for

what I need and help others at the same time — I’m in heaven.

We all have our levels of how we interact, the environments where we thrive and the environments where we are extremely uncomfortable. I have seen many people go into business for themselves, myself included, that would rather give up their dream than to market their business and themselves. I was almost one of those statistics. I almost QUIT my dream until I discovered the secret.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrases for successful marketing, Find Your Passion; Market from your Passion; Marketing from Within, etc. This is actually correct, but there are a few more steps. Too many times we focus on things we can’t do (weakness) versus the things we can do (strength). The most common phrase I’ve heard is “I don’t want to feel like I’m selling.” Then we have this belief we’re supposed to market from the standard marketing box; cold calls, networking groups, speaking, knocking on doors, etc. NO! You don’t need to jump directly into the marketing box first. Get out of the should(s) and the can’t(s). Step into what you do well and what you enjoy first, then, open the marketing door.

The Secret

1. Give yourself permission to redefine marketing to fit your style.

Example #1

A My Way Marketing Plan participant was very good at her profession as a lawyer but was very uncomfortable with marketing. I have clients take a quick assessment and check off their strengths and passions. She expressed she had very few on her list. The key is, it doesn’t matter how many are on your list as long as you pay attention to what’s there. Some people have 30-40, others have 5-10. She chose her top 3.

Out of her 3 the main passions and strengths on her list was one-on-one conversations. We then began thinking of who might be good strategic partnerships** for her business. She was thrilled she could not only market from her favorite and most comfortable approach, but also choose her favorite environment, which happened to be in a cozy coffee shop. However, that wasn’t all that was holding her back. She had never given herself permission to call one-on-one conversations…marketing. Once she redefined marketing to One-On-One Conversations, she left saying, “I feel like I’ve had a black cloud lifted off my head.”

**Strategic partners are those that compliment your business and visa versa. When combined you have a new offering and more fun because you’re working with someone. This is different from a formal partnership with which you go into business and file a legal name.

2. Give yourself permission to market from your comfort zone.

When she gave herself permission to market from her comfort zone she began taking more steps naturally. Two weeks later I turned around at my networking group and there she was. She was enjoying herself because she gave herself permission to redefine marketing to fit her passions and strengths AND she allowed herself to market from her comfort zone. I have seen this so many times. Once you give yourself permission to stand in your comfort zone, it’s amazing how you will naturally evolve towards expanding your marketing. It becomes FUN and Exciting!

Example #2

1. Look at what you already have. All you need to market may be
right in front of you with your most comfortable group of prospective clients.

A Life Coach I met had a horrible fear of marketing but really believed in
his chosen profession and didn’t want to give it up. Through the process
described above most of his fears disappeared. But he still found himself
hesitating. He had identified his best client but that first step of where to
begin seemed too big. In asking Bob about his past profession and
contacts he realized not only would they be a perfect client, but there would be a large number of people he could comfortably approach. Bob did several things.

1) Gave himself permission to redefine marketing to fit his style.
2) Gave himself permission to market from his comfort zone.
3) Identified a market he had come from and was comfortable.
4) He became so energized with his approach and his comfortable market he is making cold calls speaking from the passion of his business.

Sometimes we are so close to things we can’t see them. Look right in front of you – your perfect client and ease of approach might be within reach.

However you approach your marketing, you get to choose how you do it. If need be, ditch the word marketing and insert ____________ (the words that fit YOU).
Beth Woodward, CPCC, CEK (Chief Executive Kid). Beth is the creator of the popular Marketing On The Playground™ Program, Adventures In Brainstorming for Women In Business™, The My Way Marketing Plan™; and is the author of the Marketing Ideas for Women In Business™ e-Storybook.

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Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Branding, Business & Marketing | 0 comments

Recharge your Communications Strategy for Profitable Promotion

Recharge your Communications Strategy for Profitable Promotion

by Gail Martin of Dreamspinners Communications

How well did your communications strategy serve you in the last year?  First, look at your business plan.  What were your major business goals?  Did you reach them?  Did you fall short?  Think about the outcomes achieved over the last year.  What would you like to get more of in next year?  What would you like to avoid?  On what product or services or in what customer segment did you realize the highest profit margins?

Your communications strategy should grow out of your business plan.  It should be your strategy to communicate about your products and services to the most desirable customers, most influential business contacts and more symbiotic vendors so that those groups become your allies in reaching your business goals.  A good communication strategy helps your business avoid negative publicity and get positive visibility.  It should also focus on your most profitable customer segments and products to help you reach revenue goals.  Here are some key questions to ask yourself as you re-evaluate your communications strategy:

 Who is your target audience?  Are there untapped customer niches you have not yet exposed to your product or services?  Do you need to up-sell or cross-sell your existing customers so that they do more frequent and profitable business with your firm?  Are there  people with similar characteristics to your existing customers whom you have not yet reached?  What about business-to-business customers—are they hearing a message tailored just for them?  Could your vendors be referral sources if they only knew what kind of potential customers to refer?

 What do you want to say?  During the year to come, will you be opening a new or additional location, expanding your physical operation or moving?  Will there be new products, services or line extensions?  How about new methods of delivery or improved processing?  Do you have the feeling that your customers would do more business with you if they only understood your full line of service better?  Or are there misperceptions or misunderstandings in the marketplace that might be keeping new customers from trying your service?  Is there something you could offer to encourage trial?

 What’s in it for them?  Every customer asks, “What’s in it for me?”  Do your customers and prospective customers really understand how the features of your product could help them?  Have you been focusing on features instead of benefits?  And do you communicate different benefits according to the needs of different audiences?

 How will you reach them?  How often do you communicate new information to your current customers? How often do your customers have an opportunity to communicate their thoughts back to you?  What vehicles—surveys, newsletters, sales calls—do you use?  Are you communicating with your best prospects?  Is the message they’re getting the one you think you’re sending?  Are you sure?

 When will you reach them?  Timing is everything.  Do your customers know about important changes—store hours, new front-line personnel, system upgrades or process shifts—in advance?  Do you build interest in upcoming new services or line extensions?  Do your customers hear from you at key reorder points or at times in the business cycle when they are most likely to buy? Do you time your messages to prospects for the seasons or months when they use services like yours?

These questions should help you think about how effective your communications strategy was last year.  If you don’t know the answers to some of the questions, you have uncovered an area for growth.  Put these five strategies to work in your communications strategy and get set for a great year!

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Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Branding, Business & Marketing, Marketing & Social Media | 0 comments

PR Secrets to Unlock Your Promotional Potential

PR Secrets to Unlock Your Promotional Potential

For many business owners, Public Relations (PR) efforts are a black hole, an unknown that makes them hesitant to invest time and money.  Handled correctly and approached with realistic expectations, PR can be one of the most cost-effective tools in your marketing toolbox.

Here are five things every business owner should know about PR:

 

Fact #1: PR offers you several things that you can’t buy with a paid ad.  Articles are considered to be more credible than advertisements, so whenever you or your business is featured in an article, the reader considers the information more credible than whatever you say in an ad (where you are obviously trying to sell something).  Articles—even short ones—usually say more about your business than will fit in all but the largest ads.  Articles also have the benefit of being what someone else (the reporter) says about you, and hence are seen as more credible than what you say about yourself.

 

Fact #2: There are several important differences between advertising and PR.  When you pay for an ad, you pay to have it run in a specific issue or at a specific time.  A press release may generate an article six months after the release is sent out.  Neither you—nor the PR professional—can control the timing.  With an ad you have written and paid for, you control exactly what the ad says.  While you can write a press release yourself, the article that actually runs is likely to be edited or changed by the reporter.

 

Fact #3: Short of owning the newspaper or the magazine, no PR practitioner can guarantee an article will get placed.  Your publicist can put the information in its most attractive form in front of the best-positioned editors at the right magazines, and through personal follow up, can highlight the reasons they should be interested, but no one can guarantee placement unless they own the magazine.

 

Fact #4: One-shot PR doesn’t work.  Unless you are announcing a special event for the calendar page, releases don’t get 100% pickup (and even with a special event, 100% placement is rare).  There are many reasons for this, even when the release is properly written and sent to the right person.  They include:

  • The editor has already planned the next several months (or full year) of articles and doesn’t have room.
  • It reminds them of something else they’ve run recently.
  • They like the general idea, but this particular release doesn’t strike their fancy.
  • They file it with future ideas, then leave the company, and the new editor pitches the old file and starts over.
  • There are too many possible article ideas and not enough space.

 

Your best odds of getting stories placed is to send out a new release every month—or as often as you can come up with something newsworthy—and stay on the editors’ radar.

 

Fact #5: Value is created even without immediate placement.  Your publicist has  researched the best newspapers/magazines for your target audience, identified the editor most likely to be interested in your story, written the initial release, emailed it to the editor/reporter, and followed up by phone or email.  After that round of distribution and follow-up, editors will be aware of your company, and the next time they get something about you, they will be more receptive and already know who you are.

The customer’s timing to buy is not always your timing to sell.  That holds true for editors as well as product buyers. Successful marketing and PR means keeping a consistent presence so that when the editor is ready to tell a story about your topic, he thinks of you.  The key to success is being in front of the editor often enough that you are the subject of choice when an article about your specialty fits with their editorial need.

The value of one positive article can recoup the effort put into the PR process, and can create much more business than a single ad.  The biggest secret to successful PR is patience.

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Posted by on Jun 25, 2009 in Branding, Business & Marketing | 0 comments

The Difference

The Difference

by Jill Jordan, Personal Branding and Networking Coach

 

Do you know what sets you apart from your competition? Failing to understand what sets you apart is one of the single worst mistakes a business – new or established can make. What is your strongest point of competitive differentiation? What is the single feature that sets you (or your company) apart from its competitors? Just about any professional business service provider can say they have integrity, or they can say they have excellent customer service. But what makes it so? Take a hard look at what you do how you do it and find one or two things that really set you apart. Then take a look at your competition – can they say the same thing about themselves? If not – there’s your difference, or your “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP).

If you’re having trouble finding what makes you stand out – ask your customers or your clients. Why have they chosen you over someone else? Poll several of your clients and you will begin to see a pattern emerging. This is where you will find your difference. It’s recommended that you do this mainly because you’re probably too close to the business of your business to see it and recognize it. Get input from others.

Once you find your difference, create a short, memorable phrase that is easy to incorporate into everything that you do.  This works for branding “you” or your product or service.  What is your USP?  If you don’t know….no one else will either.

By focusing on what makes you different, you’ll start to stand out. Whether a new or fledgling business – you need something unique that’s going to make you stand out to either potential new customers or your existing ones. Remember: because you’re looking for what makes you stand out – so are others in your market, too. Don’t get caught playing the “it’s always worked” game. In today’s economy, keeping yourself out there, and known, is what’s going to bring the customers to your door.  How are you getting ahead by getting known?

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2009 in Branding, Business & Marketing | 0 comments

Sowing The Seeds For Marketing Success

Sowing The Seeds For Marketing Success

By Gail Martin,

DreamSpinner Communications

Contributing Expert, Smart Women’s Coaching

 

Have you ever considered that a slow month or two could be your chance to sow the seeds for a very prosperous rest of the year?

 

I grew up in a farming community, and so it wasn’t uncommon to pass a field that had been high with a crop the year before that was now lying unkempt and untended. It wasn’t forgotten or wasted. It was lying fallow for a season. “Resting” an acre or two is a long-established farming practice to allow the land to replenish all of the nutrients that crops have depleted.

 

So what does that have to do with marketing? These days, a lot. I hear many small business owners commiserating about how slow it was in December and that for them, it may not have picked back up yet. Not a lot of new orders. Delays on in-process work. Fallow ground.

 

This is absolutely the best chance you may have all year to tend to your own marketing. Just think about it. People aren’t quite back from the holiday mindset, or they’re being cautious—whatever the reason, you’ve got more of that most precious of commodities: time.

 

How will you use the fallow time? For me, any unexpected pause is a godsend because it lets me update my website, write new press releases, dream up new promotional work for my virtual assistants, or finish editing a transcript.

 

These are all things that are difficult to find the time to do for myself when I’m working full-tilt for my clients. Fallow days or weeks let me strengthen my own marketing foundation. I’ve found that it is an investment that pays off all throughout the year.

 

So what are five marketing tasks you can do in this fallow time to strengthen your marketing position for 2009? You could:

  • Inquire about speaking to a local business association to get in front of prospects and be top of mind for when they start to buy (and they inevitably will begin buying again, sooner or later).
  • Write two or three press releases to spark media coverage, a feature article or an event listing to keep your company name visible.
  • Update your media list to make sure your releases are reaching the right reporters. Hint: As you call to update, this is a great time to renew your relationship with reporters, ask what they’re working on and offer to be a resource.
  • Record a new audio or video greeting for your website to keep it fresh. Remember, new content helps to keep your site high in the search engine rankings.
  • Write a couple extra blog posts to entice more readers (prospects) to your blog.
  • Send out your media pitch to half a dozen radio stations offering to be a guest with expert tips on how listeners can solve a problem or create an opportunity

While a “slow” month can be frustrating, it can pay long-term dividends when you invest the time in your own marketing and promotion. You’ll look back on the year-long rewards and welcome the next slow period so you can sow the seeds for new opportunities!

 

Smart Women’s Coaching Contributing Expert Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies and solo professionals in the U.S. and Canada save money and get results through exceptional writing and marketing. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. Gail hosts the Shared Dreams Marketing Podcast and the 30 Day Marketing Restart videoblog, and she teaches results-oriented marketing teleseminars.

 

She is also the author of the bestselling Chronicles of the Necromancer fantasy adventure series with The Summoner, The Blood King, and Dark Haven.

 

For more information, visit www.DreamSpinnerCommunications.com.

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